The avocado, originating in southern Mexico and Guatemala, is loved for its rich taste and creamy texture and was a treasured crop of the ancient Maya. Even today a person from Antigua Guatemala is called a panza verde, or green belly, because of the region’s reliance on avocados in hard times. Combined with chilis, garlic, cilantro, onions, and lime or lemon, avocados become guacamole, a sumptuous appetizer. Don’t expect to find lots of Hass avocados in the Maya world—there are many other varieties, most of which are bigger.In 1917, Wilson Popenoe, a California Avocado Association explorer, reported why Guatemalan avocados are best: “The flesh is of a deeper yellow color, smoother, more buttery [in] texture, and richer [in] flavor than any varieties yet known in the United States.” -National Geographic
The first Turca I’ve met in Guatemala after 3 months. I encountered her while waiting my line to checkout in supermarket, after seeing her ID while she was using her credit card.
“¿…usted, de donde es?.. ” , “Sorry, English?”, “Where are you from?” , “I’m from Turkey”
and the instant given reply of “I’m also Turkish!” after waiting for this answer with the familiar accent and impatience, continued with “Hahaha damn you, are you student?…”, stretching the smiling cheek muscles strongly and involuntary, with a weird mixture of shyness and joy, along with a silly looking face
1st day – Base Camp(~3600m):
After 5 hours of hiking up the mountain, we’ve reached the Base Camp of Volcan Acatenango. It was the most difficult physical activity I’ve ever done in my life; cursing myself and questioning what the hell I’m doing here.
Readied our camps to spend the night and started to warm ourselves by the fire, that our guide recently cut from a tree. Drinking hot chocolate and of course Bacardi. I’m freezing despite of my skiing jacket and polar. The 1 day weather change for me between Antigua (eternal spring) to harsh, windy and chilly mountain conditions are huge. Rest have headache due to minor altitude sickness.
It’s 2 days before the Supermoon; the moon is illuminating the sky, but it’s no match for the majestic explosions of Volcan Fuego.
We’ll wake up at 3:30 am to continue ~2 more hours of ascending to the tip of Acatenango (3976m) in order to catch the sunrise
Hiking up Volcan Acatenango to catch the sunrise, with the explosions of Volcan Fuego at the background, brightening the starry night.
Then sliding down highly slippery volcanic sand without actual skates/skies/snowboard but with bare shoes haha
Here’s an amazing goal video from 2 different angles of stadium and supporter camera, from the last week’s (27.10.2016) Antigua vs Coban match, that we attented at Estadio Pensativo in Antigua.
After the goal, instead of jumping and cheering, I stood still in shock, with my mouth wide open and my hands on my cheeks, like the Kevin’s iconic pose in Home Alone 😀
And here’s some kids enjoying in the stadium, while their dad was trying to take their pic 🙂
And the kids, playing football in the street I live
Ogulcan Temiz Guatemala antigua, barbeque, chimney, churrasquitos, churrasquitos olgui, estadio pensativo, fire, food, guatemala, hamburger, meat, mourn, murder, olgui, pensativo, smoke, sorrow, steak, sumpango 0
Best “local” barbeque McDonalds (!) with amazing taste and prices:
Hamburger: 1.3$, Meat/Taco/Buffalo: 2$, Cola/Fanta/Sprite: 0.7$, Coffee: 0.5$
“Churrasquitos Olgui” Restaurant
Talking to the local people and learning where they oftenly go, helps a lot. If you go out of the city only a little, Guatemalan reality begins to rise to surface. I would never have thought that, I would eat delicious meats for that cheap. The best part is, the restaurant is 15 mins walking distance away from the city; so it’s not invaded by tourists and you can breath the same air with locals. The reason is, restaurants in the central Antigua is very touristic, mostly with Americans, so prices are inflated. I remember that, last time I was in Sumpango, where my wallet was stolen, I paid 2.7$ for a huge steak, wrapped around tortilla with avocado, which was one of the most expensive things.
Back to the topic. As you can see from the photo, there’s no chimney in the restaurant; smoke is pushed out with fans, like the one behind the chef. For a moment, fans stopped working and smoke filled the inside like there’s a fire inside (actually yes). But people didn’t care and continued to eat, like nothing happened, which made me laugh and say myself that I’m glad I arrived to Guatemala. These small but different things make me happy a lot, and put me in thoughts.
The chef in front of the barbeque, is known and loved around here. He has been working in this job for many years. But he has a sorrowful story. Unfortunately, his daughter was murdered by her boyfriend, due to the jealousy. He came to here from US for a few days, and quickly rushed back to US after the murder. He’s living freely, due to insufficient evidences. Imagine the sorrow of her father, the chef!
Ogulcan Temiz Guatemala ancestors, antigua, celebration, day of the dead, dia de los muertos, dia de muertos, festival, fiambre, gigantic kites, graveyard, guatemala, kites, mexico, muerto, sumpango 0
What is “Día de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead) ?
And colorful graveyards with fiestas, once a year made Fiambre food, gigantic kites of Sumpango, robbery of my wallet…
In every year on 1-2 November, Day of the Dead is celebrated, mostly in Mexico and some Central American countries, for people to memorialize their dead ancestors. But in a festival mood, not in despair and sadness.
I mentioned you that Maya culture and Christianity are bounded together in here. Graveyards are painted colorfuly, like a child’s dream, in every color of rainbow. You find yourself in the pure dream of a child; not in a grey, cold, tense, gloomy, creepy place. Even more, when I saw a Transformers painting on a grave of a child, I didn’t feel sad for the dead child, I felt cheerful, like I’ve never met that child before, but enjoyed together with, and missing those days. Or maybe it feels like, that child, who doesn’t know what death is, drew his/her own funny graveyard on a paper, excitingly running around and showing people his/her drawing, with positive energy, before his/her death.
Here, in these graveyards, kites are flown, for the connection between the heavenly skies and the earth. People make a wish or say a prayer, before loosening the strings of the kites from their hands to the eternity of the sky.
During the garnishing of graves with flowers, music and fiesta, people feed themselves with a food named “Fiambre”, that’s only made once a year. It’s basically a salad with everything you can imagine put inside and decorated, that’s said to contain 50 ingredients. The ones I counted were, sausage, tomato, cheese, egg, lettuce, onion, corn, Brussel sprout… It takes the whole day of struggle to make it!
One day before I knew that something called Fiambre existed, my landlord Señora Elizabeth took me to the kitchen in excitement to show me the ingredients that covered the whole table, which seemed to be a feast of a king. I couldn’t understand the magnificent view I saw, and murmured, “okk…annd…sooo?”, in a silent and timid tone, like a nervous small student trying to understand in front of his teacher.
The practice of people to spend time with their dead relatives aren’t limited to graveyards. During this day, a candle is lit in a corner of the house, and a cup of water is placed next to it. Therefore, souls of the dead, who are wandering on streets to find their relatives, distinguish the candle light that signifies themselves, to find their old house. And when they reach ther home, a cup of water is waiting for them, to end their thirst from the road.
Giant kites in the size of a home greeted us in Sumpango. Each one of them are painted and carved like a piece of art. They carry messages, a meaning. You can think of the giant 3D choreographs and signs in stadiums, to make similarities in your mind. However, these are tied to ropes and imagine that they fly in the stadium only with the wind power. For example, for the Beşiktaş fans (a Turkish football team with eagle mascot), an eagle shaped kite flying in the stadium. (The ones in Sumpango were in shape of owl and peacock)
As a result, many children, families, locals and tourists flooded into Sumpango. Have I been to a more crowded place in my life, before? On the long streets, people try to move in both directions by pushing each other. There’s a saying in Turkish for very crowded places, that if you throw off a needle, it won’t fall into floor. Looks like that saying comes true in here. Suddenly, a man going to opposite side, pushes me to my right forcefully, like he’s up to making a fight. I try not to fall on the people on my right with a huge effort and be misunderstood. Angrily, I look back and focus to the man who’s about to disappear in the flow of the people like a flowing river. It’s that moment, my wallet got stolen, in this conspicious trick. I realized this 5 mins later after I got out of the crowd when I wanted to buy food. Eh, I guess I was looking for trouble, while I was taking pics of people and showing off my camera, wearing gringo-like sunglasses and going around with my American group of friends. At least, I had only a little amount of money, and my IDs, without any credit cards. Photocopies of my IDs are still with me. When I woke up that morning, I listened to my inner sound, and left the cards at home.
Of course, I was filled with grief and sadness at first. But it was a good lesson for me. Anyways, money is flowing in and out, during the life a person, no need to be sad for a piece of paper that will keep coming and going. The funny side is, the fear for my IDs to be stolen, won’t bother me anymore in here hahaha, they’re already stolen 🙂 The only wish I make is, I hope the thief uses my money for good things, and it’ll be my gift to him/her.
Cooking Turkish Coffee in Antigua-Guatemala. Picture on right is from a Starbucks in Türkiye by my father.
Coffee is incredibly delicious in here with lots of “fincas” (coffee farms) around. The owner of a coffee shop in here wants to learn how to cook Turkish coffee from me haha… Ben evde kalmam
In his hand,
His the spirit fits into the thick basket over it;
I will not have it again like the first day:
Huge joy, excitement and imagination;
In my hand,
I fit in my small pocket on my body,
That in the coming days he may not have it:
My tiny camera.
Should we trade?